Heather Jaspan of the University of Cape Town in South Africa will conduct a randomized controlled trial of post-partum South African mothers to determine whether unpasteurized mageu is more nutritious and promotes a healthier gut microbiome than pasteurized mageu, which is more commonly consumed. Mageu is a common grain-based fermented porridge used as a weaning food in infants and as an energy drink in adults. It is generally produced in pasteurized form, which may inactive the live bacteria that can boost health. They will locally manufacture a live-culture grain-based fermented mageu and use it to conduct a pilot trial with 30 women. The women will receive either store-bought mageu or live-culture mageu for daily consumption over six weeks. They will collect fecal samples to measure microbial diversity, which is a marker of gut health, and host and inflammatory biomarkers between women consuming pasteurized versus unpasteurized mageu.
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